M P Birla Planetarium | Kolkata City Guide
M P Birla Planetarium is one of the most significant educational places in Kolkata. Students or anyone who loves to know about the galaxy, universe and its secrets, should visit this place. The planetarium opened its door on 29th September 1962. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister of India of that time) inaugurated this planetarium on 2nd July 1963. It is an iconic structure built after the famous Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. The planetarium is located at 96, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, adjacent to St. Paul’s Cathedral Church. It is a landmark in the city of Kolkata and should never be missed from the list of important places to visit in Kolkata.
While inaugurating the facility, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stated “We tend to exaggerate the importance of our petty selves on this speck of dust. So this planetarium must serve a useful purpose, apart from gathering knowledge and imparting it. It gives us an idea of what we are and makes us think of a true perspective.”
Presently, two presentations are available Cosmic collisions (Demonstrate creation of Earth, moon, etc.) and Our Universe.
Quick Facts about M P Birla Planetarium
Below are few interesting facts about the M. P. Birla Planetarium
- While inauguration in 1962, the M P Birla Planetarium was the first public planetarium in India.
- The planetarium now boasts of its latest Carl Zeiss Hybrid Projection System with the advanced optomechanical projector StarMaster capable of showing the natural night sky. Nine ultra-high resolution “Velvet” digital projectors create an immersive environment of the cosmos while watching.
- 23-meter diameter AstroTec dome (USA), made from high precision perforated Aluminum sheets.
- 570 push back progressively reclining seats in a concentric arrangement. It is also one of the largest in the world in terms of its seating capacity.
- The planetarium has designed and presented more than 300 astronomical projects dealing with various aspects of astronomy, astrophysics, celestial and space sciences and even mythology concerning the stars and the planets.
Birla Planetarium Ticket Price
INR 80 per person per show. Although, you have an option to choose between online and offline tickets.
Birla Planetarium Show timings
There are two show available in three different languages and its timings are below
- Cosmic Collisions – 12:30, 02:30, 04:30 (Hindi) ; 03:30, 05:30 (Bengali) ; 01:30 (English).
- Our Universe – 06:30 (English).
How to Reach Birla Planetarium
Being almost in the center of Kolkata, you can certainly avail metro, bus or even cabs to reach Maidan. Apparently, from every corner of the city, transportation is available.
There is no parking available on Birla Planetarium premises. But you can park your motorcycle or car in adjacent St Paul’s Cathedral Church for a nominal charge. Although, the security personnel will take money from you for parking but will never give a bill to you.
Facilities available at Planetarium
Anyone interested in Astronomy certainly can enroll for different courses. Also, a very clean washroom is available for use. You can have snacks, tea & coffee from roadside vendors.
Rules to Follow
- Age Limit: Open for all.
- As there are no seat numbers, consecutive seating cannot be ensured at times of rush.
- All visitors, including children above 3 years, are charged full (Rs. 80.00) per head.
- Visitors booking online tickets should compulsorily be present at the venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled show. Visitors will not be allowed inside the Sky-Theater once the show begins.
- Eatables are not allowed inside the sky-theatre.
- You need to switch off the mobile phones inside the sky-theatre as it deteriorates the experience.
- There is a `no refund` policy for tickets once booked.
- You have to deposit heavy Luggage at the baggage counter at the visitors’ risk.
- Visitors are not allowed along with pets, weapons, ammunition or dangerous materials.
- Rights to admission reserved.
Nearby Places to Visit
You can also visit the Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral Church, Elliot Park, Mohorkunja, Princep Ghat, Jawaharlal Nehru Children Museum, and Aurobindo Ashram, Smaranika Tram Museum, etc.
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